Video | “The Vibrant Bhils”: Tradition and change in one of India’s most ancient tribal communities – Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan & Maharashtra

A film directed by Raj Bendre and sponsored by the Madhya Pradesh State Planning Commission | Published on Feb 14, 2014

The Bhils mainly inhabit the western region of Madhya Pradesh besides the adjoining states Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. They are perhaps the most ancient tribe of India and mentioned in Hindu mythology and also consider Valmiki and Eklavya [Ekalavya] as their ancestors.

It is true that most tribals are efficient in using bows and arrows, but none is better than the Bhil. […]

The birth of a child, irrespective of gender, is an auspicious occasion among the Bhils. Whereas in mainstream Hindu society, the birth of a girl is considered bad news, here it is received with the same joy as the birth of a boy. […]

There is a compulsory tradition of bride-price in every type of Bhil marriage. […] A widow has two options: she can either marry her brother-in-law whether or not he is married since there is no social stigma in keeping more than one wife, or she can marry anyone else of her choice as here second option. […]

Change is inevitable for man’s intellectual growth but because all change obliterates tradition, it becomes necessary to make archival records.


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